wayfaringwordhack: (art - pondering)
Or shall we just call it, "The State of Things." Forgive me, LJ, for it has been awhile since my last post.

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I've never tried to put a cut under a cut, so be warned that when I say something vile happened, there should be an additional cut there to keep it out of public view unless you want to read it. If there is not a cut, don't read on, there's nothing more to see. :)
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In which you can read about the State of Things )Vile Thing )

Anyhow. Did not mean to end on a tirade.SaveSaveSaveSave
wayfaringwordhack: (critters: Maki World Domination)
When you ask the parents of a newborn if you can come by and meet the baby, please, come by and meet the baby.

Because even if I don't clean my house from top to bottom, I do make an effort to tidy it for you.

I do either bake something or go buy something to make sure I don't welcome you empty-handed.

And you know what else? I miss out on my nap.

I am tired and I have hormone things going on as I recover from 9 months of pregnancy and the whole rollercoaster of giving birth.  So maybe I'm a little bit sensitive here. But seriously. If you say you are coming:  Come.

(Twice now, we've had no shows. Once, the people just seemingly forgot.  The second time, the couple did call to cancel 30 min before they were supposed to show.)
wayfaringwordhack: (art: guitton - housework)
I lost track of the days. That happens rather frequently to me, but I had not a single oh-it's-Sunday thought yesterday.

Last week, I started crocheting a pair of legwarmers for Sprout.  She can wear them out when it turns cooler here, but I'm mostly making them for her ballet class. With days in the mid-20s (70F) and nights dipping down to 20 (68F) or so, I'm able to handle yarn again without having it clinging to me.

One more week and we can starting moving. But we'll have to deal with some WH--!? business first.  The electric bill collector showed up tonight and handed me a bill for 1007 LE.  Our normal monthly bill runs 110-140 LE.  They are trying to tell me that without using the A/C or anything like that, we have to pay 10 times more than normal? My neighbor, who was paying at the same time, said that his bill looked perfectly normal.  The collector lied to neighbor and said that he hadn't checked our meter in a long time and now we had to pay our "true" consumption rate rather than an assumed total.  He checks the meter every couple of months; and now, after we've been here for 3 years, he's going to tell us all the sudden we've changed our habits and need to make good.  Funnily enough (/sarcasm), two people told me that our landlady probably called the electric company and told them we are about to move so to make sure we're all paid up (because otherwise it will fall on her to pay.  As if we would have left the bill hanging. ARGH. I know other people do it, though; we were presented with the bill from the last tenant). But how did they get from 100 to 1000?  We have to get to the bottom of it. :-< I don't want to pay something we truly don't owe, but I don't want to leave someone else holding the bag, either.

And this shall be a lesson to us: Never trust the meter man again. Always write down the meter number ourselves and verify what he writes down.
wayfaringwordhack: (Egypt: Sphinx)
Not a fun morning; an admin morning.

I had to renew my passport and after toting a God-awful passport photo for the past ten years, I was determined to have a better one this time around. So, J and I spent HOURS on it. No, not trying to make me look better or Photoshop me...just to do the shot, select one, make website formatting tools play nice, and get our printer to work. After wasting sheets of photo paper and buckets of ink, I showed up to my appt with several options, size-wise.  Only to be told that they would not accept my background, which was white with a faint bluish cast, even though the "rules" state that off-white is fine. Argh. So I had to go across the street and have another taken, in which I look just as tired as the whole process makes me feel and all washed out to boot, thanks to wearing a white blouse.  

I was asked to bring along "proof" of my citizenship, just in case. And spent more HOURS looking for said proof yesterday, only not to be asked for anything at all. ( I had sorted all these papers into a special pile, and then, in the move-house frenzy, packed them, instead of refiling them.)

Thank goodness I only have to do this every ten years.

And the lesson of the day: Stick to my guns and only take a taxi with a meter. On the way to the consulate, I ended up accepting a ride with no meter, agreeing to pay 40 LE because J told me that was a good rate.  On the way back, we held out for a meter and only paid 20. o.O

Second lesson: If there are no signs saying which line you should be in, ask. Even if there is only one line.  I stood in the "wrong" line for 30 minutes. I actually had a feeling it was the wrong line but did not make a move earlier because I was waiting on J and didn't want to go inside without him since a) I had his passport, b) phones have to be off once inside. When the time for my appt arrived, however, and I was only five steps closer (out of about 30 more) to the door, I did jump the line and got to go directly inside.  I did not appreciate the slight smirk of the man at the barrier which seemed to say that he knew I was in the wrong place and could have done something about it.

I did get to see something unusual on the taxi ride this morning: A motorcycle passenger sitting sidesaddle, his ankle swathed in bandages, carrying his own foldable wheelchair.
wayfaringwordhack: (Sprout: !!!)
Just a little anecdote of the craziness we sometimes come up against:

J was out visiting apartments, and a couple came up to him on the street and asked about his criteria and budget. He told them and the lady said she had a place that was for rent. She gave him the address and said he could visit the next day, but that evening she called back and said he could come over immediately.

When he got there, he couldn't find the lady and she wasn't answering her phone. The doorman sent him to the wrong floor, and once back downstairs, he saw a lady and her two teenagers standing in the entryway, their belongings bundled up around them in sheets.

Turns out they were vacating the apartment he was supposed to be visiting. J was very uncomfortable, but the people told him the landlady was inside and he should go in and visit, that it was a nice place. The kids, who spoke good English, told J, "She used to be my mom's friend, but then she turned crazy." Uh-oh.

J didn't visit, and she called him the next day, acted like nothing had happened, and invited him back over again. He decided to see the place just in case it was really nice. He liked the amount of space and had me excited about it.

Until I went to see it. o.O

It was rundown in the extreme and downright scary in some aspects. And the lady wanted way too much money. Every time I would mention something that needed fixing, she would get a look on her face that said I was being ovely difficult and she would nod as if to humor me, her narrowed eyes and pinched lips telling me I was dreaming if I thought she'd do anything.

I told her I was confused as to why she even told us about the place when she knew it was over our budget. "Because it isn't that much over. You can make an effort." Or, um, she could make an effort.

"No, we really can't," I informed her, especially after she said that, OK, OK, she would fix some small things in the apartment, but that we "would have to help her."

Then she proceeded to tell me that I should get a job so we'd be able to afford it. I politely told her that wasn't in our plans. And she kept on. And on. "You can open a daycare here! It pays good money!"  Um, no thanks.  "Go substitute teach! It pays really well!" No. Thank. You. "You can do many things to supplement your income!"  Grrrr.

And poor Sprout kept saying, "Momma, can we go now?"

Once the lady realized we weren't going to budge on our budget, she told me she would look for us a place.  In New Maadi. "We don't want to live there," I told her. "Yes, but they have a lot of flats there in your price. I'll look there."  No thank you. And she said it again and again until I cut her off with, "My husband doesn't want to live there."

We are leaving a landlady who is very decent on the whole; Lord save us from going into a situation with a known "troubled" person. O.O
wayfaringwordhack: (critters: Maki World Domination)
Someone stole our car last night.

J realized it this afternoon when he went out to get groceries.  A witness said it happened around 2 a.m.

Our car is old and not one that would typically be stolen. There are two likely possibilities:

1. It was stolen for parts,

2. It was stolen for "ransom."

Regarding possibility #2:  A Korean gentleman in our neighborhood had his car stolen some months back. He was contacted and asked for 12000 LE for the return of his car. He told the police; they pretty much shrugged and said he should pay it, so he did.

If we are in the same boat, J says he won't be paying. When he made the police report, he was disgusted by the lack of concern, etc. and feels that we can't expect much help from the police at the station where he went. Tomorrow, he'll try to get help from people associasted with the embassy.

Good thoughts/vibes/prayers are requested.

Sometimes things suck.  At least we have a lot to be grateful for, like the fact that no one was hurt. :-<

ETA: A conversation with [livejournal.com profile] frigg made me realize that I forgot to share something else: we can't buy another car to replace ours. We are only allowed to buy one during our stay in Egypt. If anything ever happens to your car (breaks down, is totalled, etc), you can't buy another. I'm too tired to look up the exact law, but I think this only applies to cars with diplomatic plates. So, if we don't get ours back, we'll have to finish the remainder of our stay carless.
 
wayfaringwordhack: (web)
Both J and I have been infected with some kind of malware that is wreaking havoc with our ability to surf the net. We've spent countless hours these past couple of days trying to get rid of it, to no avail.

I've been trying to respond to some LJ entries without any luck, and I was only able to log in tonight by doing some weird round-about things.

I'll be back(ish) whenever we get this fixed.

Why do people have to invent this malicious stuff!!!!???? #@$%&^!
wayfaringwordhack: (web)
Both J and I have been infected with some kind of malware that is wreaking havoc with our ability to surf the net. We've spend countless hours these past couple of days trying to get rid of it, to no avail.

I've been trying to respond to some LJ entries without any luck, and I was only able to log in tonight by doing some weird round-about things.

I'll be back(ish) whenever we get this fixed.

Why do people have to invent this malicious stuff!!!!???? #@$%&^!

Outraged

3 Nov 2013 01:11 pm
wayfaringwordhack: (critters: Maki World Domination)
Last night, J and I took Sprout to have a vaccination. In USA doctor-style, the pediatrician visit ended at almost 9 p.m. even though our appointment was for 6:45 p.m. Thankfully we had fed Sprout earlier. J and I opted to eat upon returning home, and maybe that, plus the fatigue, made me feel not-so-hot. We had to wait for change after paying, and J suggested I walk home alone since we live only about 500 meters from the clinic.  I finally caved and set off, sticking to the biggest roads as the safest option. Not because I was afraid but out of common sense.

Sadly, that was the only bit of common sense I exhibited in what follows.

About a block away from the clinic, I realized someone was following me. Stupid, stupid, but I told myself it might be J.  I *knew* it wasn't because the rhythm of the footsteps was wrong, and I couldn't hear any telltales from Sprout. I gripped my keys, ready to punch someone if need be, but rationalizing that I didn't have a purse/sack and no pockets and therefore was not a target, I kept walking. Stupid.

As I turned a corner, I could hear snuffly giggling and a shadow coming up fast behind me.  I stupidly kept walking and did not get my back up against a car. A boy, probably 12 or 13 years old, grabbed my butt--but not just one of my cheeks, right between them--and then ran off laughing with a band of about 6 other boys. I obviously couldn't chase them down under normal circumstances and it was certainly out of the question being 6 months pregnant and wearing Birkenstocks. So I just cussed and called him a bad name, which made me feel like an effectual loser and just made him laugh. Such elegant behavior. Two boys stayed near me, and I asked if they were his friends. I knew they were, but they denied it. I kept asking where he lived, while walking back towards the clinic, hoping to find J.  They kept giggling and acting stupid, but I couldn't very well hit them upon suspicion. A man came along who didn't speak English, but he kicked the boys and ran them off, leading me believe my assumptions were correct that they were insulting/mocking me in Arabic as they tailed me.

By the time I reached J, the boys were long gone, but he still tried to find them.  I doubt I would recognize them in daylight.

I'm sure that they didn't have any "ill and violent" intent; they thought they were just pulling a hilarious, daring prank--go feel up the foreign woman in front of one's friends!--but I'm so outraged that their stupidity has made me feel unsafe in my own neighborhood. I'm angry at myself for not listening to my instincts. I feel so disgusted to have been pawed like that. I hate all the violent scenarios that keep popping into my head in which I beat the crap out of a kid.

Before this happened, an acquaintance offered to pick Sprout and me up this evening and take us to a nearby club since we will be going after dark. I told her that walking in the dark didn't bother me, but now I'm sad, and yes, outraged, to admit that I can no longer say the same. It was long and late into the night before I finally convinced myself to stop mentally chanting, "I hate this country."

What I *do* hate is that this attack came at a time when I had finally made some peace with being here another three years and was making progress to stay in a positive mental space...

Yeah, color me outraged.

Breathe in, breathe out.
wayfaringwordhack: (art: guitton - housework)
Something very different today.  This Sunday, you get the joy of a glimpse of the week I just had.  I have been sketching and could show you a snippet of that, but I don't feel like photographing, down- and uploading, so...

Monday: Moved house. Did etat des lieux, which went all right, but I did something stupid, stupid, stupid:  Signed the document without reading it. In my defense, the lady filled it out on her Acer tablet and then passed it to me and asked me to sign. I didn't even think of verifying it, like I would have done had it been written on paper. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. She then emailed it to us and I saw some stuff that I would have definitely questioned, but now it is too late. On the mostly-bright-side, I don't think anything she mentioned is enough to keep us from getting our deposit back. Time will tell. I'm keeping an eye on the mailbox. :-<

Tuesday: Spent the day catching up with my daughter and resting from the move.  Rest made all the more necessary by the itching throat and runny nose that I'd been suffering from for the past two weeks...

Wednesday-Saturday: Catching up with in-laws, tearing up the room and digging through boxes in search of N'Djema's vaccination papers and passport. Yes, even the cat needs a passport to go to Egypt. Also did some packing and sorting for Egypt. And continued to feel unwell, except for Saturday.

Today: Woke up dark and early to go mushroom hunting. Found some, had the biggest one stolen by a rude mushroom thief.* Ate mushrooms with grilled duck breast, mashed potatoes, and sauteed green beans.  Made a gift for a friend's new baby. Finished carrying all the Egypt-bound boxes downstairs so that we can repack them into traveling chests and do last minute, do-we-really-need-this sorting. Started feeling like crud. I think I'm getting the flu. S is sick and my mil might be coming down with something, too... However, I FINALLY found N'djema's papers. Hallelujah!**

And that's what things tend to look like in the Faure household when we are preparing an international move.
____________________________
* I squatted down to get a better look at the ground because I was sure there was going to be a mushroom growing there (perfect conditions).  A woman saw me bend down so she made a beeline for my position.  Just as I turned to my head to scrutinize the ground, she came into my line of sight...and spied the very large porcini mushroom growing just to my left. Since I was squatting, she was able to get to it first. Not that I would have fought her over it. She ripped it up, gloating, "This is a big one," then proceeded to thrash her stick all around in search of others. I was beyond disgusted.

It is public property where we were, the mushrooms being there for whoever finds them, but to my way of thinking, if someone is already there, looking at a patch of ground, back off and give them their chance first. Then, if they don't see the "prize" you can move in and get it.  This lady also wove a figure 8 between J and his dad as they were talking, scouting out the ground all around them.  Sheesh.

** Her papers were in the same box with a writing notebook I've been trying to lay my hands on for the past 4 months. So, double hallelujah.
wayfaringwordhack: (art: guitton - housework)
...at least I hope I am.

I am very much dreading the "etat des lieux" tomorrow, the handing over of the keys, the verification of the inventory and the state in which we have left the apartment.

I always leave a place spotless. Spotless. I am not a tidy person, but when I leave a home, you could eat off the floors, the walls, out of the dishwasher*...  We have replaced what we have broken and have not damaged anything irreplaceable.

However, the lady who is coming to do the état des lieux has not been...friendly whenever we've spoken on the phone.

When we had to replace the broken induction stovetop and called to find out the procedure for insurance purposes, she was downright witchy, practically accusing us of trying to rip off the rental agency when all we were trying to do was follow the proper channels.

Then, the other day, in setting up the appointment for the "check out," she told me we were going to have to pay a plumber to do the annual maintenance for the heating. We lived here from March to 1 Oct and had no need of the heating. I asked her to discuss it with J, citing we had only been here six months.  She went ballistic and said we were going to HAVE TO pay so no need to discuss anything. To which I politely insisted she talk to J about it. 

When we moved in, the realtor (different agent) said the maintenance was our responsibility, at which time J asked for a receipt showing the last upkeep done on the boiler.  We never received anything.  

Anyhow, the witchy lady never called J. He called the agency instead and repeated the need to see a receipt for the last maintenance because, hey, why should we have to pay for something we never used? And the agency kept dragging it out, claiming to be waiting on the plumber to send them the last bill. Only the thing is: They handle this apartment for the owner. It is their responsibility to have all of these documents on hand, already.

Witchy lady finally called back, leaving a message, in which she said, "Lucky for you, the last maintenance was done in Sept 2010, so you don't have to do it." (Remember the maintenance is ANNUAL, so they dropped the ball in 2011.) Lucky for us? Why lucky for us?  If we had bowed to her attempts to cow me, then we would be stuck paying something that is not our business to be paying.  Luck plays no part in it. They messed up; they have to pony up. Who wants to bet they try to fob off the expense on the next renters?

All day today, I've been tormenting myself with scenarios of her trying to find something wrong with the apartment and succeeding, thereby getting to keep all or a part of our deposit.  I'm making myself miserable. I'm borrowing trouble from tomorrow, when perhaps there will be no trouble.  I know that, but I just can't stop. Stupid mental playback of misery!

OK, enough whinging. Time to get back to cleaning so as not to give witchy woman any ground...

____
* that might seem an odd thing to say, but have you ever cleaned a dishwasher filter? Nasty,greasy things...
wayfaringwordhack: (hellville)
only registered users will be allowed to comment on my posts. I'm tired of sifting through messages for handbags and Nikes.

If LJ has enough sense to realize something is sp*m, why should I have to receive a notification for the crap?
wayfaringwordhack: (art: monk)

...toddler boys who throw tantrums are said to be "strong-willed,"* and why if a little girl exerts her personality, she is thought to be capricious.  

The first implies that, yes, the boy can be stubborn; he can hold on to what he thinks is right, all the while acting like a terror. A strong will denotes reasoning power on the part of the "afflicted."

Capriciousness, however, lacks reason. It is irrational. It is whimsy at its worst, stripped anything fanciful or flattering.

Are there other similarly biased adjectives to describe boys and girls in English or other languages?

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* used in French, strong-willed can be a two-edged sword, a compliment as well as a deprecation.  However, when I've heard it used by parents to excuse their children (boys), it is with a touch of pride, concealed but there all the same. Capricious is always, as far as I can determine, negative.

wayfaringwordhack: (Default)
I hate, hate, hate the "sexy" pout thing that women think they have to do when they are being photographed.

Women, your lips are fine the way they are. Poking them out makes you look many things--including but not limited to: ridiculous, desperate, unattractive, insecure--but they do not, I repeat NOT (yes, I broke out the all caps) make you look sexy.  

You cannot know how uncomfortable it makes me to see my adolescent nieces with their lips jutting out, thinking they look pretty, thinking that looking "sexy" is the only way a woman can acceptably look.

How can they think otherwise when women with full mouths like Angelina Jolie also do the exaggerated lip pout?  This is the photo that brought my desire to rant about this to a head:


(image via Telegraph.co.uk)

   Unfortunately the pout is not flagrant at this size, but the image I saw was a full page on the back of Polka magazine.  The ad is for Louis Vuitton's Core Values campaign.  I just wish it was a core value to teach girls to respect themselves as humans and not sex symbols.  However, big kudos for Jolie's natural pose and down-to-earth clothing.
   
Oh, check out Jim C. Hines  Striking a Pose (via PW Genreville). I hope cover designers and editors are paying attention.
wayfaringwordhack: (gecko)
Dear Neighbors,

Thanks for taking my clothes out of the dryer and putting them in my basket. </sarcasm>  Next time, do you think you can let the cycle finish first so that my clothes are actually DRY? Especially since I don't exaggerate the settings needed to dry my clothes, unlike some.

Yes, yes, I know I've taken someone else's clothes out before while the machine was still running, but that was because, you know, the one pair of XS jeans was already dry and did not need to tumble about for the remaining 2 hrs of programmed time. Oh, and the child's kimono?  That was dry, too, with 90 minutes still to go. (See what I mean about exaggerating?)

My clothes?  Not dry.  

Pretty please have a little courtesy next time.*

Respectfully yours.

Me 

(* and clean the lint trap. I don't mind doing it--I actually enjoy doing it when it is my own machine and not full of strangers' hair--but I do mind that I seem to be the only one who does.)

______________________

Dear Mechanic,

For the love of my kneecaps (and those of all other customers taller than you), please move the seat back to its original position after you drive my car. It was very sweet of you to get it out of the parking space for me, but your consideration was cancelled by the extreme OW! of slamming my kneecap against the steering column when getting out of the car.

Painfully yours,

Me

P.S. Thank you for changing the brake pads and disks though...er wait, should I thank you when I had to pay that much for the service??? In any case, so happy that annoying noise is at last gone!


wayfaringwordhack: (hellville)
 Due to getting porn spam links on LJ entries--ones with photos of my infant daughter no less--I'm disallowing anonymous comments on my blog.  Sorry to the real people who visit and who don't have an account.  If the spammers start using accounts, I'll proceed to locking my entries.

Kind of sad that this is my second LJ sucks post in a week...
wayfaringwordhack: (Maki World Domination)
 Today, after a seven-month-long court battle, foster parents Marie and Alvaro Plaza are at last going to be able to re-welcome Anne-Charlotte et Émilien back into their home.

The children were snatched away from the foster parents in the fall of last year. Why? Because The Powers That Be decided that the children received too much love from their foster parents. Yes, you read that right: too much love

During the five years that Marie and Alvaro had care of the kids, they committed several crimes:

1) They lavished Anne-Charlotte et Émilien with affection, treating the children as if they actually belonged in the family,
2) They bought the children gifts,
3) They took them on family vacations
4) They celebrated national and family holidays with the children...

You know, the really bad stuff...

And what evil influence did this have on the children?  Why, it made them much less inclined to want to someday (if ever the natural parents got their act together) return to their "real" family.

The family where they suffered mistreatment and sexual abuse; the family where Emilien, aged one, was still crawling on the floor and eating out of the dog's bowl, as if it were his own plate; the family where the father is currently in prison and the mother has been declared to have "a slight mental deficiency."

But today, a wise, humane judge decided that the children belonged with those who actually care for them. This does not, however, make up for the 7 months that the kids had to spend in institutionalized care, cut off from all contact with their foster family and friends.

Here is a link to news segment.  Sadly it is in French.  Couldn't find word of it in the English headlines.
wayfaringwordhack: (hellville)
OK, probably going to offend some smokers out there, but:

I hate smoking.  Loathe it.

So, imagine my disgust that our downstairs neighbor smokes. And smokes, and smokes. So much so that we can smell it in our house.  it creeps up through the floorboards in the wee hours while we are in bed, for C comes in from work/partying anywhere between 11:30 pm and 5 am. 

I wake and light a candle in the essential-oil burner, but I still (or because of that?) wake with a sore throat.

And then the stench starts again around 10 or 11am when C wakes up.

It's his house and he can do what he wants, but it infuriates me that his nasty habit encroaches on our living space.

Does anyone have any experience with anti-tobacco wall plugs/ candles? Are they effective?  And while it might get rid of the smell, I guess I can't do anything for our lungs. :(

Thankfully we are moving into summer and can keep the windows open.  But what about next winter with a baby in the house? *wails*
wayfaringwordhack: (Maki World Domination)
 The Three Silly and Very Annoying Girls on the Plane from Brisbane to Sydney;

Hard though it may be to imagine, the entire aircraft was not interested in your discussion and would have appreciated it if you had lowered your voices to more reasonable, conversational levels.

No, your gambit of speaking of vaginal piercings did not make you cool in our eyes, and your laughs, far from being tinkling, charming, and engaging, were more like the brayings of poorly castrated donkeys.

I speak on behalf of our fellow travelers when I kindly suggest that next time you tone it down.

All I can say beyond that is thank the Lord you weren't on the 8-hr flight to Singapore.

Absolutely No Love,
Me and the rest of the Jet Star flight 
wayfaringwordhack: (Default)

January 5th started off on a fairly bright note, if you don't count the 12:30 am wake-up knock by a Kiwi cop telling us we had move along to another parking spot.  Julien and I had a leisurely breakfast of eggs, bacon, and toast, while overlooking the Bay of Islands.




We decided to head up to the Karikari Peninsula so Julien could try kite surfing. We picked up two Argentinean hitchhikers on the way. Please note Good Samaritan Act Number One; it will be important to my whinge later on.

We took our time on the road, stopping for a short hike in Whangaroa to see this gorgeous view:



However, once we got up to the peninsula, we realized that the surf school wasn't actually out there. Their brochure just had a phone number, no address, obliging us to call them and either go to meet them somewhere else or wait for them to drive to us. A bit fed up with that silliness, we decided to drive to Ahipara, the beginning of the Ninety-Mile Beach.

Along the way, we picked up two Maori hitchhikers who were having car trouble. Good Samaritan Act Number Two.

In Ahipara, we didn't really fancy getting shifted by the police in the middle of the night, so we were ready to pay 10 NZD for a spot at a beachfront campground.  However, when we went back and got ready to park Flea (what we dubbed our campervan), a lady came out and told us it was going to be 20NZD. We told her that was not the price that the owner's niece just quoted us, and she trotted out some bull about that price being for shareholders in the land, blah, blah, blah.

Well, one way to get my goat and get it real quick is to make me feel like I'm being taken for an easy target.  So, of course, Julien and I drove off and decided to take our chances with overnighting in a parking lot. We chose one that was well-lit and already had two campervans there. Julien asked the driver of one if it would be okay to stay there, and the guy assured us that it was, that he had already spent four nights with no problems.

Congratulating ourselves for saving 20 bucks, we had supper and settled down to sleep.  

I was awoken around midnight by the arrival of a minivan and a black, customized sports car. I don't know how may people piled out of the two vehicles, but they were loud and they were drunk. One guy kept going on to his girlfriend about how no f*cking thing he ever f*cking did was f*cking good enough for her. To which she replied something to same effect with many f*cks thrown in for good measure.

I did my best to ignore them, but I heard sounds like someone was prowling around Flea. Like a nosy old woman, I kept pulling back the curtains and checking the perimeter as it were. I never saw anyone near the van, though, and I decided just to pull my sleeping bag back over my head and do my best to ignore them. After all, I told myself, no one will try to break into our van while there are so many people around.

Duh, Miquela.

The sleeping-bag-over-the-head trick didn't work very well, and I was just standing up to shut the air vent on the top of the van when I heard a loud thump-crack.  The sports car spun into motion and donuted around to fly off into the night. The foul-mouths piled back into their minivan and charged up the road, too. All the sudden, out of the black, comes a man in a green tshirt, pelting down the road after them. A few seconds later, two more guys followed.  I thought at the time that maybe they had gone off to urinate and their friends, thinking it was funny, took off and left them.

When I checked the front of the van, however, I saw why they had truly left: Someone had busted our windshield.

The three guys came back up the road, laughing and texting on a cell and carrying beers.  Figuring they were as drunk as the last lot, I didn't ask them what had just happened.  Julien, exhausted and still sleepy, was in favor of going back to bed and dealing with the problem the next day, but I didn't understand how he thought I was going to be able to fall asleep.

We ended up calling 111 and I reported the incident. The dispatcher said someone would be on the scene shortly.  Before anyone arrived, she called back and asked for some confirmation about the car.  Apparently, the patrol car was leaving the station just as the guilty party was passing in front of it.

They weren't able to stop them right away, but small town and all that, from my descriptions, they knew exactly who had been in the cars. They asked us to come back the next day and make a statement at the station, but they told us it would be difficult to do anything to the "mongrels."

Knowing we had done the best we could and that the jerks wouldn't be coming back, I was able to sleep.  The next morning was a joy of phone calls to the rental company, our insurance, repair shops. Working with the shop that our rental company usually goes with would have been cheaper, but it would have blocked us in the area for 4 days. We ended up having to pay 100NZD more than we should have to have the windscreen fixed. The insurance is supposed to pay us back, though.

At 4pm, we went to give our statement to the police. However, without us being able to say, "This guy here was the one who who busted my windshield," and without the possibility to either stay in the country until they go to court or to come back if they don't plead guilty and claim responsibility, we didn't have any ground to stand on.

Hayden, one of the policemen who took our case, and his team handled it just perfectly, though. They got the guilty guy to come in and offered him the easy way or the hard, and thankfully, he chose the easy,* probably believing that we could ID him and were willing and wanting to press charges.  He ended up bringing 250NZD to the station, which the police are mailing to us, and that will go a little ways toward making up for our lost day even if it won't cover the 370NZD that the repairs actually cost us.

So, are we happy campers or are we not?



Happy enough, I'd say. We're both safe and hale and have so many blessings it takes a while to count them all.

Oh, wait. I forgot to whinge. *lol* Well, I'll just leave it to your imagination, but yeah, I did feel a bit like, "Why us? Don't we try to be good people and help others out?"

Life just doesn't roll that way. We don't always get like for like. No reason for it, just wrong place, wrong time.

______________________
*According to him, he never meant to hit Flea. He was aiming at the guy in green, with whom there is bad blood.  I can buy that; apart from the sounds of someone around our van, I didn't feel threatened or targeted.

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